How wolves changed the geography of Yellowstone Park

Have you ever considered how intertwined living creatures are? When wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone Park, they changed not only the wolf population - but affected the deer, which affected the trees, which affected the bears, which affected the beavers, which affected the river, which affected ... on and on and on.The narration for this video is from a 2013 TedTalk, "For more wonder, rewild the world," by George Monbiot. The full video goes into more detail about rewilding, in … [Read more...]

Training your dog with a prong collar (or shock collar, shake can, alpha roll) is not positive

If you have to use a prong collar to have a "special relationship" with your dog ... that's not a relationship either you or dog want.

I was coming out of our local natural food store yesterday when I saw this poster hanging on the community bulletin board. Something didn't seem right about the picture so I stood for a moment looking at it - and then I saw it. Look closely. The dog is wearing a prong collar.Newsflash: if the trainer could actually "talk" dog or had a relationship with his dog, it wouldn't need to be on a prong collar.I'm an amateur student of dog behavior and communication - and when I say amateur, I mea … [Read more...]

Scientists use MRI to see what Fido is thinking

What do you think Bandit is thinking right now?

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look at my quirky Border collie, Bandit, and say, “I wish I knew what you were thinking right now.” My guess is that, if you have dogs, you often think the same thing.Well, researchers at Emory University have found a way to study what’s going on in Fido’s brain with what is likely the first functional MRI performed on a dog.In this kind of brain scan, dogs were studied while they were awake and unrestrained – no sedation, no leashes. Just a dog … [Read more...]

Seneca Park Zoo celebrates first artificial insemination of polar bears

It takes a whole team to make a polar bear pregnant! (The polar bear artificial insemination team; photo Kelli O'Brien)

I love being able to shine light on my wonderful hometown of Rochester, NY and today there's super news that makes animal history: The Seneca Park Zoo, in partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo's Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW),  is celebrating the first successful artificial insemination of polar bears in the world.Aurora and Zero, the Seneca Park Zoo's polar bear couple, have been together for two years without any cubs to show for it. And while the bears are older … [Read more...]

Wisdom, wonder and the nature of creation

BC_WisdomandWonder_Shadow

I should know better than to volunteer to read and reflect on a book written by an historically renowned theologan. I usually take my theology with two dog biscuits and a pot of tea.But when offered the chance to reflect on "Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art" by Abraham Kuyper, I raised my hand before I realized what a challenge it would be.Not intellectually challenging. Despite my "aw shucks, I'm a dummy" attitude, I'm actually a college educated, deep thinker. … [Read more...]

Electric eels power holiday display at Living Planet Aquarium (video)

The Living Planet Aquarium, in Sandy, UT. just south of Salt Lake City, has created a shocking display for Christmas: a light display powered by electric eels.Now that's an eco-friendly idea!A Christmas display in the "Journey To South America" gallery is blinking by using the energy generated by an electric eel in a nearby tank. "We took the voltage produced by the eel via stainless steel electrodes and used it to power a sequencer," said Terry Smith, Project Manager at Cache Valley … [Read more...]

Bring back the Wooly Mammoth? Have we learned nothing from the bunny rabbit?

The Woolly Mammoth at the Royal BC Museum, Victoria, British Columbia. (wikicommons)

It came out this week that Japanese and Russian scientists have recovered viable bone marrow from the frozen thigh bone of a Wooly Mammoth, recovered in Siberian permafrost soil. They plan to use it to clone the prehistoric beast.You got it: they want to bring back the Wooly Mammoth.Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is a real life Jurassic Park. Velociraptors and T-Rexs and giant hairy elephants on the loose? Brrrr. Scary.But let's assume that the Wooly Mammoth comes back … [Read more...]

Join the Audubon 112th annual Christmas Bird Count

Tufted titmouse/Judy Howle

From December 14 through January 5 tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas will take part in what has become an annual family tradition: The 112th Audubon Society's Annual Christmas Bird Count.This is the longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations and help guide conservation action. And its success depends on families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists who go out on an annual mission to count ou … [Read more...]

Free downloads this week from Through A Dog’s Ear (12/5 to 12/11)

Every day this week, you can get a free download from Through A Dog's Ear

If you think you're the only one who like free music, think again. Here's a super offering for Fido, from the folks at Through A Dog's Ear! Merry Christmas!Every day this week, you can download for free a song from their catalog of music chosen to help your dog cope with stress, anxiety, illness and more.It's not a gimmick. The concept is based on the research of Dr. Alfred Tomatis, who was known as the “Einstein of the ear.” He called sound a “nutrient for the nervous system" and his the … [Read more...]

Friday Food For Thought quote: The perfection of the lobster eye

lobster eye

"Religious creationists cite the unique and ingenious construction of the lobster eye as evidence of an intelligent Designer; the surface of the square openings is as geometrically exact as graph paper, and the grazing angles inside each box must be mathematically perfect for the retinal cells to receive light. Scientists agree that this construction is ingenious, and they are using it as the blueprint for a new X-ray-vision space telescope called Lobster-ISS." Trevor Corson, author of "The … [Read more...]


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